Set This Circus Down

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Set This Circus Down
Studio album by Tim McGraw
Released April 24, 2001
Genre Country
Length 56:16
Label Curb
Tim McGraw chronology
Greatest Hits
(2000)Greatest Hits2000
Set This Circus Down
Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors
(2002)Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors2002
Singles from Set This Circus Down
  1. "Grown Men Don't Cry"
    Released: March 26, 2001
  2. "Angry All the Time"
    Released: July 23, 2001
  3. "The Cowboy in Me"
    Released: November 26, 2001
  4. "Unbroken"
    Released: May 20, 2002
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating [1]
Allmusic4/5 stars [2]
Billboard(favorable) [3]
Entertainment WeeklyB [4]
Plugged In(positive) [5]
Rolling Stone(favorable) [6]
Sputnikmusic(2.5/5) [7]

Set This Circus Down is the sixth studio album by American country music singer Tim McGraw. The album produced four singles for McGraw on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, all of which reached number one on that chart. The album was released on April 24, 2001, by Curb Records.


The first single from his album is "Grown Men Don't Cry" released in March 2001 and was written by Tom Douglas and Steve Seskin. "Angry All the Time", the second single, was originally recorded by its writer, Bruce Robison, on his 1996 self-titled album. "The Cowboy in Me" is the third single, and it reached Number One one week after McGraw's duet with Jo Dee Messina, "Bring On the Rain". "Unbroken" became the album's final single in May 2002. "Things Change" is a studio recording of a song which McGraw had previously recorded as a live version, which reached #34 on the country charts in 2000 from unsolicited airplay. Another track from this album is "Telluride". Despite reaching #52, it wasn't officially released as a single. It also appears on Josh Gracin's 2008 album We Weren't Crazy, from which it was released as a single in December 2008. "Angel Boy" was made into a music video, which got some airplay on CMT, but was not released as a single either.


Commercial performance[edit]

The album reached Number One on the Top Country Albums chart.[8] It additionally peaked at No.2 on the Billboard 200[9] while breaking the Top 20 in Canada[10] and peaking at No.95 in Australia.[11] The album has since been certified 3× Multi-Platinum by the RIAA for shipments of three million copies in the United States, as well as single platinum for sales in Canada.

Critical response[edit] gave a "favorable" review and said it would not "disappoint those used to the excellent song selection of Tim's previous releases."[1] Thom Jurek from Allmusic gave it 4 out of 5 stars and noted that Tim "masterfully and consistently flows from one sound style to the next[, yet] his familiar country-pop sound remains evident throughout, especially on the title track, a song about a fast-paced couple yearning to kick back and relax in the country (no one said the themes would be original)."[2] While Billboard magazine,[3] Plugged In,[5] and Rolling Stone[6] all gave it positive and favorable reviews, David Brown from Entertainment Weekly gave it a B grade and said "From the eclectic songs he and his coproducers have chosen to the simple fact that his face doesn't appear on the cover for the first time, Set This Circus Down presents itself as an Important Statement, McGraw's career defining work[, though] McGraw doesn't write any of his material" when saying that the album "feels conceptual, almost autobiographical."[4] John "weathered old reviewer" Hanson from Sputnikmusic gave it a 2.5 average after saying "Set This Circus Down, in [his] eyes his best album, shows the time where he was at both the least level of cheese, but had not yet 'sold out,' or sold out as much as you can in the Country scene."[7]

Track listing[edit]

1."The Cowboy in Me"Al Anderson, Craig Wiseman, Jeffrey Steele4:04
2."Telluride"Brett James, Troy Verges3:49 [12]
3."You Get Used to Somebody"Steve Bogard, Tom Shapiro3:58
4."Unbroken"Annie Roboff, Holly Lamar4:00
5."Things Change"Chris Lindsey, Bill Luther, Aimee Mayo, Marv Green3:20
6."Angel Boy"Danny Orton5:11
7."Forget About Us"Mark Collie4:09
8."Take Me Away from Here"Jeff Stevens, Steve Bogard4:35
9."Smilin'"Lindsey, Luther, Mayo, Green3:00
10."Set This Circus Down"Bill Luther, Josh Kear3:31
11."Angry All the Time"Bruce Robison4:30
12."Let Me Love You"Lindsey, Luther, Mayo, Green4:31
13."Grown Men Don't Cry"Tom Douglas, Steve Seskin3:55
14."Why We Said Goodbye"Douglas, Billy Kirsch3:44

Charts and certifications[edit]


Chart (2001) Peak
U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums[8] 1
U.S. Billboard 200[9] 2
Canadian Top Albums[10] 14
Australian Albums Chart[11] 95


All singles reached Number One on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and all reached top 40 on the Hot 100 chart.

Year Single Peak chart positions
US Country
2001 "Grown Men Don't Cry" 1 25
"Angry All the Time" 1 38
"The Cowboy in Me" 1 33
2002 "Unbroken" 1 26
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


Region Certification
Canada (Music Canada)[15] Platinum
United States (RIAA)[16] 3× Platinum


Strings performed by the Nashville String Machine, under the conduction of Carl Gorodetzky and Rob Mathes. Arranged by Michael Omartian.


  1. ^ a b review
  2. ^ a b Jurek, Thom. Set This Circus Down at AllMusic
  3. ^ a b Billboard review
  4. ^ a b Browne, David (2006-04-23). "Set This Circus Down Review". Entertainment Weekly.
  5. ^ a b "Tim McGraw - Set This Circus Down". Plugged In.
  6. ^ a b "Rolling Stone review". Archived from the original on October 1, 2007. Retrieved 2015-05-02.
  7. ^ a b Hanson, John "weathered old receiver" (2006-12-13). "Review: Tim McGraw - Set This Circus Down". Sputnkimusic.
  8. ^ a b "Tim McGraw Album & Song Chart History - Country Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 2, 2012.
  9. ^ a b "Tim McGraw Album & Song Chart History - Billboard 200". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 2, 2012.
  10. ^ a b "Tim McGraw Album & Song Chart History - Canadian Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 2, 2012.
  11. ^ a b Tim McGraw in Australian albums chart: Everywhere, Live Like You Were Dying, Let it Go, Southern Voice, Limited Edition: Greatest Hits Volumes 1, 2 & 3 and Emotional Traffic "Australian Charts > Tim McGraw"., Hung Medien. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Tim McGraw Album & Song Chart History - Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 2, 2012.
  14. ^ "Tim McGraw Album & Song Chart History - Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 2, 2012.
  15. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Tim McGraw – Set This Circus Down". Music Canada.
  16. ^ "American album certifications – Tim McGraw – Set This Circus Down". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.